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This is a blog meme that has been doing the rounds for a few weeks, and I have kindly been tagged by Priya Sharma ( http://priyasharmafiction.wordpress.com/ ) Fran Terminiello ( http://franterminiello.wordpress.com/ ) and Robert Harkess (http://www.rbharkess.blogspot.co.uk/ ).  Also, as I’ve dropped out of Nanowrimo due to signing a book deal (more of that below!), I now have a little bit of blogging time spare.  And I do love a good meme, so here goes!

1) What is the working title of your next book/short story/project?
I always have a few projects on the go, and I’m kind of superstitious about talking too much about thinks when they’re in first draft (though you wouldn’t believe it from this blog).  The next book I have due to be published is “The Art of Forgetting,” which is no longer a working title but an actual title-title.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
The book is a stand-alone sequel to my previously-published New Kingdom trilogy, so a lot of the inspiration from it came from that.  At the end of the third book there was one particular plot thread that was left unravelled and flapping in the breeze.  “The Art of Forgetting” takes up that thread and ties it up, eventually.
As to where it came from, it landed on me at 5am, when I found myself lying in bed unable to stop mentally writing the first chapter.  I had to get up and write it down before I could go back to sleep.  The whole thing sprang pretty-much fully formed from the depths of my brain.  It’s been the easiest book to write, and probably the hardest to edit!

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Heroic fantasy – FTW!

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Ooh, fun question!  And one I may have put some thought into before… 😉  Bearing in mind that in fantasy film casting age and acting talent (and even being alive) are no impairment to getting the job, here’s my dream team…  (I have done this before on another blog, and was accused of “going for the pretty people” – well, yes, yes I have.  My book my rules!)Jime will be played by Sam Worthington, of Terminator Salvation fame.

Drusain is a much younger Karl Urban, time not being applicable to this meme!
Niklaus is Daniel Johns from the Australian band Silverchair, again about fifteen years ago when he was younger and more skinny!
Astan is Daniela Sea, most famous for appearing on “The L Word” – I’ve never seen “The L Word”, but I found this picture while Googling and it was perfect 🙂
Another golden Google nugget – Sri Lankan actress Kishani Alanki Perera as Nasira – even found a picture of her on a horse!
Aaaand…my Rhodri 🙂
Nuff said.
Now I will wipe the drool from my chin and get on with the rest of the meme….
5) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
“The Art of Forgetting” will be published in two volumes in about 12 months time by Kristell Ink – http://www.kristell-ink.com/future-releases/the-art-of-forgetting/ (which kind of makes me feel bad for the cat…).  I don’t currently have an agent, but if any agents are sucked in by the pretty pictures and want to chat… 😉

6) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

What a horrible question!
“Lost prince with remarkable memory joins the army, then betrays his country and wages war on his own sister.”
Which makes the boy sound like something of a bastard, which we all know he’s not.  I mean, look at him! 😀

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Eight months, pretty much non-stop. I gave myself tendonitis writing it!  The whole thing pretty much fell out of my head and all I had to do was catch it.  The editing, on the other had, took nearly as long and was painful… and it’s not over yet!

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

A book I hadn’t read when I wrote it, but which a good friend of mine compared it to, was “The King Beyond The Gate” by David Gemmell.  I love David Gemmell, but somehow I’d missed that one, so I scuttled straight off and read it.  I can see what she means, (don’t worry, they’re not sueably similar!) and I was delighted, because David Gemmell is one of the writers I want to be when I grow up 😉  Also Juliet McKenna and the fabulous Joe Abercrombie.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

That sounds uncomfortably close to “Where do you get your ideas from?”, which is a question every writer I know hates.  That dangling thread was an itch I knew I wanted to scratch some day, but beyond that I had no idea what would happen.  Books lead to more books, to taking ideas and running with them and finding out what might have happened to a particular character, I guess…

Inspirations – St Michael’s Mount, Dances With Wolves, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, Bat For Lashes, Touching The Void, Cheddar Gorge, Basque Separatism, Genghis Khan, shamanism, eidetic memory…

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

Swordfights, battles, mysterious islands, mountains, treachery, horses, war, sibling rivalry, heartbreak, more treachery and true love – what more do you want?

I hearby tag as my Next Big Thingies :
Dark Fantasy Author Fran Jacobs (The Shadow Seer) – www.franjacobs.com
SF author and Monkey Wrangler Gareth L Powell (Ack Ack Macaque) – www.garethlpowell.com
MG author Stephanie Burgis (A Most Improper Magick) – www.stephanieburgis.com
Fantasy author Nyki Blatchley (At An Uncertain Hour) – http://www.nykiblatchley.co.uk/
And SF author and gamer Sarah Newton (Mindjammer) – http://sarahnewtonwriter.com/
I know they will all have interesting things to say about their Next Big Things!